Every year for a month leading up to Christmas, the Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago is transformed into a quaint, German village with artisan shops and a variety of foods including bratwurst, pretzels, beer and strudel.
This pop-up village goes by the name Christkindlmarket and runs from Nov. 17 through Dec. 24 this year. Holiday shoppers can find intricate woodwork, honey, children’s toys, candles, chocolates and more.
The first Christkindlmarket was hosted in 1996 as a way to promote trade between the U.S. and Germany. The next year, the market was moved to Daley Plaza due to a special request from then mayor Richard Daley. Since then, the market has lived in Daley Plaza every year spreading Christmas cheer, as well as German food and festivities.
The market opens from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, when it closes at 4 p.m.
It doesn't matter if you're looking for an infusion of culture, or warm, delicious food or homemade goods, your perfect Reading Week getaway at the Christmas market is only one shuttle ride away!